Hot spring enthusiasts love Akita Prefecture’s charming Nyuto Onsen, a hot spring village nestled quietly between the region’s mountains, for its stunning natural sights and vintage vibes. Many even confidently assert that the area contains the “most ideal lesser-known hot springs” of Japan.

What is it about this hot spring village that has garnered so much support from those in the know? Perhaps you, too, will understand, when you visit on a cool winter day and take a dip in one of the outdoor baths while being surrounded by a thick layer of falling snow.

That magical feeling is something rarely experienced in a normal routine, so it’s really no wonder people love coming here for an unusual hot spring adventure. Let’s take a closer look at some of the scenic snowy sights Nyuto Onsen has to offer!

Nyuto Onsen: Best-kept secret among hot spring enthusiasts

Nyuto Onsen is located in Tazawako district of Semboku, a city on the east side of Akita Prefecture. The village is in the Towada Hachimantai National Park, a place flourishing with primitive beech forests. Specifically, it sits at the base of Mount Nyuto, hence the name. In total, there are seven picturesque inns with well-maintained bath facilities dotted around the area.

While Nyuto Onsen is starting to become popular among visitors from Japan and around the world these days, it used to be a place where only local residents patronized because of how far it was from the city.

When a “secret springs” craze swept through the country in the 1980s, Nyuto shot to fame overnight when enthusiasts listed it as one of the last few hot spring villages that still featured an olden-style Japanese landscape, and this repute eventually brought many international visitors to its doors as well.

Outside view of Tsurunoyu Onsen

Ask any non-Japanese visitor to the hot spring village why they’re there and you’ll likely be told it’s because of Nyuto’s classic Japanese atmosphere. Outdoors baths are surrounded by traditional buildings with thatched roofs and primitive forests.

The scenery is even more spectacular during winter, when a layer of pristine snow starts to cover over almost every surface, transforming the rural landscape into a magical vista throughout the season.

Not only are visitors able to soak in a relaxing bath here, they can soak up the lovely atmosphere as well! That’s the main reason why the village is popular from people of all nationalities.

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